Industry talking to customers What's this? Leveraging edge computing to accommodate a distributed workforce Published: November 24th, 2020 By: Glenn Weir As it becomes clear that the distributed workforce is our “new normal,” organizations are faced with challenges to accommodate this environment over the longer term.“More people are working remotely and we’re expecting this to continue for the foreseeable future,” said David O’Reilly, vice president and general manager of the secure power division at Schneider Electric Canada. “It is putting strain on organizations’ networks. There’s higher demand, and they’re experiencing longer times at capacity. A lot of them weren’t prepared for this unprecedented change, so they had to jump into upgrading.”This new reality means that businesses must rethink their transformation plans to increase their capabilities and flexibility. An effective place to start is by expanding their capacity and improving the reliability of their servers with custom UPS solutions.Why you need to think long-term Telework or telecommuting has always been a popular option. For employers, the benefits include reduced costs per employee and the ability to pick from a larger pool of professionals from around the globe. For employees, the benefits include higher rates of job satisfaction, higher levels of productivity, and greater freedom in where they live.This year has greatly ramped up the number of employees working from home, which has put the issue of accommodating a distributed workforce on top of the agenda for business decision makers. The rise of the distributed workforce has led to new challenges. Servers, for example, are encountering increased strain, higher demand and longer times at capacity, putting legacy data centers to the test.To continue to meet demand in these unprecedented times, data centres and colocation centres must get the right infrastructure and tools to safeguard against power fluctuations and downtime events. This is critical for this year and beyond.Preparing for the long term Businesses need to leverage a distributed workforce model that allows them to fast-track their business transformation. This can be accomplished through boosting capacity and strengthening the resiliency of their servers with uninterruptible power supply solutions designed to minimize downtime.Monitoring and dispatching IT solutions designed to provide a more cost effective method for customers to manage distributed infrastructure networks can be part of the data centre management and edge computing solution.Monitoring and dispatch services can streamline operations by removing the burden of managing dispersed deployments, and without needing to hire more staff members. They also offer a 24/7 remote monitoring of system failures to limit costly downtime and offer access to reports to give customers the ability to more easily create an informed plan for maintenance or expansions.An example of an expert remote monitoring service is the EcoStruxure Asset Advisor. When you subscribe to the service, you get 24/7 expert monitoring, proactive search dispatch, and incident tracking.Remote monitoring is ultimately all about checking the health of IT infrastructure equipment and reporting the results via the cloud, which facilitates digital remote monitoring services that utilize actual user monitoring in order to deliver user feedback.Any cloud-based remote monitoring solution should consist of a gateway to send and receive data between local apps and a remote cloud storage solution. A central service will store the data, which can then be securely accessed via a web interface. The cloud can also help to combine monitoring services with maintenance or dispatch services, which makes the field servicing and replacement process quicker and less disruptive. This is a prime example of what edge computing is all about: storing and processing data away from a centralized processing warehouse.For example, EcoStruxure IT Expert is a cloud-based next gen DCIM monitoring software that allows you to check up on the status of your remote or onsite physical infrastructure equipment. It offers easy deployment, centralized monitoring of your IT infrastructures, analytics for smarter decision-making, and assessments to optimize maintenance of your devices.Want to learn more? If you’re facing new challenges and want to seize the opportunity accommodating a distributed workforce, Schneider Electric offers a range of products designed to facilitate a seamless transition to a remote future.